Monday 28 June 2021

Be Cheerful

Notwithstanding all the doom and gloom relating to the unprecedented times we are living through we have a lot to be cheerful about. For a start, God exists. That rather puts everything else in perspective. God exists and he has prepared wonders and glories for us beyond imagination if we are prepared to receive them. That does require a few concessions from us but these concessions really only amount to admitting we are sick and taking the cure.

If you sometimes feel overwhelmed by the world and personal suffering please remember this. Everything that goes wrong, or appears to go wrong, in your life is a spiritual opportunity. Whether it is a matter of ill health or monetary troubles or personal problems of whatever sort, there is a lesson to be learned. Sometimes it is a hard lesson but the wise man sees that whatever life throws at him there is something he can take from it to advance a little closer to God. It is a cliché that behind the clouds there is always a brightly shining sun but it's true. And what do clouds do? They bring rain which promotes growth. This is what suffering also can do in our world if we react rightly to it.

Now, I know that many people will dispute this and say that suffering seems purposeless but I do not claim that God sends this suffering. I am merely saying that we can use suffering to deepen our awareness of God. I am not making the glib assertion that suffering doesn't matter but I do assert that it can be, if we allow it, a means of stripping away the resistance that we are always putting up against God. Jesus told us that if we wished to follow him we would have to take up the cross. The current era is a wonderful opportunity to do just that. If you lived an ideal life in an ideal society you might not have the impetus to develop spiritually in the way you do now at a time of massive spiritual loss.

Cheerfulness is really a form of hope which is one of the three theological virtues, theological meaning in this sense that they are given by grace more than personal attainment or moral rectitude- even though grace only comes to those who allow themselves to be open to it. Hope can be defined as complete confidence in God which is something that comes through complete faith in God. This faith is not just intellectual but the result of a will that has given itself over to the transcendental reality of the divine and this should eventually result in the third theological virtue which is charity. Again, this is misunderstood because charity in a spiritual sense is very different from the more conventional secular meaning which is a mixture of good will and empathy. Spiritual charity is rooted above all in the love of God and the resultant love of man coming from that love of God. Man is not loved for his own sake but for his spiritual reality. This is very important because it means that charity, properly understood, works for the spiritual development of man not his earthly benefit. Jesus said, "If you love me, keep my commandments." That is charity.

Hope is very necessary at the moment. It will enable us to both see the darkness and go beyond it. You need to see the darkness but you also need to see there is light behind it. This is not a false optimism because it does not look for salvation in this world. But it knows that there is salvation in the world  beyond from all the vicissitudes of this world and it looks forward with confidence to that bright new day.

Thursday 24 June 2021

Good and Evil in Today's World

These may not be what you think. If the good is what accords with truth and evil is what deviates from that then they are certainly not what most people think. For most people entirely disregard the spiritual and even those who think they believe in the spiritual usually put it behind the material/worldly/human in practical terms. They define good by worldly good but if worldly good puts itself above spiritual good or even ignores the prior claim of spiritual good then it is evil. Jesus came to save souls not to set up the perfect human society. In fact, he seemed to have had no interest in that at all which may have been why Judas turned against him, Judas being a typical modern person more interested in political change than spiritual awakening.

But let's go back to basics. If there is no spiritual is there even any such thing as evil? There is bad, certainly, but evil implies something more than bad. It is not just destruction of material things, the body, physical life, for personal advantage but destruction of essence, and essence is spiritual. Bad is the opposite of good but evil actively works against good, seeking to undermine it, pervert it, corrupt it, destroy it because of hatred. Perhaps just as good is love so evil is hatred and if hatred is love deformed and turned against itself so evil bears the same relationship to good which is to say that good is the reality and evil is that reality gone wrong.

What I am saying is that good and evil are spiritual concepts, concepts rooted in a far deeper reality than just the material world. So, if you deny the spiritual you really have no business talking about evil. Conversely, if you accept evil you must acknowledge the spiritual, and if you acknowledge the spiritual you must see it as primary and the material as its support. We have reversed this relationship and reduced the spiritual to either nothing, an expression of the material or, as with most followers of religion, something to be defined in terms of the material.

For practically everybody today good is material good, what increases material comfort and reduces material suffering. Evil is what does the opposite regardless of other considerations. This partly explains the extraordinary behaviour over the last year. But this was not how Jesus saw it. Good was what did the will of his Father which was bringing souls back to him. Jesus healed the sick and fed the hungry but not very often and probably only to demonstrate the reality of divine power. What he did continuously was preach the kingdom of God and tell us how to get there. He was concerned with spiritual good more or less to the exclusion of anything else.

At the moment there is an all-out assault on spiritual good not by attacking it directly but by replacing it with a lower good or, better put, a false good, a good that relates to human beings as they are in this world and, by virtue of that, seeks to keep them and their attention in this world. This false good denies the soul, the spiritual component of man, and that makes it evil in the true spiritual sense. So, this is not evil as obvious wickedness but evil masquerading as good in order to destroy the true good. It is Satan appearing as an angel of light.

Any morality not centred in God or, at the very least, a higher reality is actually immoral. This is because it creates and reinforces a false good so blocking out the true good and preventing growth in that good. Paradoxically, the strictest adherents of such a morality are the most spiritually immoral.

What people need to understand now is that the nature of evil has changed. Now, it has moved from being principally a material thing (murder, violence, lying, cheating etc) to being a spiritual thing - denial of God. Or reality since God is reality. And this denial can only come from a misaligned spiritual will so it is never innocent. The old evils still remain, of course, but a deeper sin has been added to them, all the worse for not being regarded as such. 

The difficulty for so many people is that good and evil are not clear so millions of ordinary, decent people (decent by conventional standards) are actually on the side of evil. But that is because we look at good and evil in materialistic terms rather than, as we should, spiritual terms. Once you start thinking of the material world as a place designed to bring out spiritual choice then everything becomes a lot more obvious.

Most people want to be good but for that to be possible you have to know what good is and for that to be the case the heart must be rightly oriented. Our hearts are not rightly oriented and that is our own fault.

To sum up, let me say that whether you are for good or evil now depends on whose side you are on. God and creation or the world as it is presented in current belief systems, some of which are actually religious. It is not so much whether you are a conventionally good or bad person, though clearly you should always seek to be good and sincerely repent your failures. It is determined by whether your heart inclines towards God or the teachings of this world which deny God. And if you are not for God then, as the scripture says, you are against him. There is no neutral ground, certainly not any longer. This should be a wake up call to the millions of people who just go along with things as they are. You cannot now say "It's not my fault. It's how things are. I can't be held responsible if I just do as others do." The truth is always within you. You are responsible.

This post echoes recent ones by Bruce Charlton and Francis Berger though most of it was written before I read those. I believe this indicates there is something in the air now saying that a serious choice is being demanded of us and we need to make that choice soon.

Monday 21 June 2021

Pestilence, Propaganda, Panic and Pecks

Francis Berger has written many excellent posts about the spiritual collapse of the last 15 months. (A collapse, it must be said, from an already very low level.) In his latest he makes the point that "serious Christians should have been able to or should be able to discern the evil intuitively - from the heart - without the need for copious hard facts and research." This is exactly my feeling too. From the beginning, I smelt a rat and, though I wasn't equipped to confirm this immediately, a few hard facts and a little research have supported that initial feeling. If it smells bad, it usually is bad. 

Of course, we should not jump to conclusions based merely on a feeling but, at the same time, we should take our intuitions seriously. The more we do, the stronger they will become. This is not an excuse for indulging in wild fantasising or succumbing to wishful thinking. We should stand our intuitions up against reality. But still they are sent to us to guide us. My teachers told me to trust my intuition but make sure it was genuine intuition and not wishful thinking. I have learnt there is a clear difference between the two and that the former comes from a much deeper, more insistent place.

So, from the start my intuition has told me that this was not what it seemed or how it was presented and the true underlying agenda was the destruction of liberty and spiritual enslavement. The illness was real enough but not as serious as depicted and the precautions taken to contain it were wildly disproportionate. The scientists and the politicians and the media all had an agenda. The shameless one-sideness of the reporting proved that beyond doubt. They may not know what the agenda really is because ultimately they work at the behest of their demonic overlords, much as most of them would scoff at that accusation. But because their hearts are so spiritually arid they are easily manipulated as, unfortunately, are most of the populace for the same reason. We have been so softened up over the last few decades that we are easy prey to fear. We have nothing beyond ourselves to fall back on or sustain us because we have abandoned God and our culture has supported us in that. But we cannot blame the culture because we have been all too complicit.

When the instructions to cover one's face came in it was once again clear that this was part of the process of control. The human face is the very expression of our humanity. To cover it is to become anonymous and spiritually inhibited, almost an automaton. I am speaking symbolically obviously, but symbols are very powerful things and the external representation of a state can actually help bring about that state internally. The masking of our faces, if we went along with it, showed  that we were submitting ourselves to bureaucratic control. Besides, there was never any evidence that masks did any good. In fact, what evidence there was showed they were fairly useless. Look it up.

And then we come to what one of my blogging associates wittily dubbed the peck. These things, completely new and not properly tested, were originally meant, so we were told, for the most vulnerable. Then they were for everyone over the age of 60 or whatever it was. Then a younger group and a still younger and now they are talking about pecking children, people who are at absolutely no risk from the illness but potentially at grave risk from what is supposed to prevent the illness. This is such an obvious evil that one is amazed that people are not protesting but they are not. Even now they are not.

Throughout this farce (except there is nothing funny about it) one thing has led to another and as each new threshold has been crossed another one has been erected a little further down the road and then another and so on. This is exactly what has happened with the sexual revolution and so many other incursions of the demonic agenda over the last century or so. The end goal is always Z but the journey from G to H and then H to I never seems like a big deal at the time except to those who recognise the pattern and the purpose behind it all.

When offered the peck I declined it not so much out of of concern over its side effects (though such a concern is quite legitimate with thousands killed across the world even by official figures) as because accepting it would be accepting the veracity of the official narrative about the pestilence and participating in the panic. It would be accepting that the government and the medical authorities have the right to dictate what goes into your body. That is authoritarianism which I have no desire to enable. I realise that those who believe the hype would call this crazy but I don't believe it and I don't because I don't see any real evidence for it. I do see a lot of bad people (bad to the spiritual eye) pushing a false agenda. On a personal level, I had the bug last year and in my case it was no worse than regular flu. That was my experience. I know it can be a lot worse for some people but usually only if they have already existing fairly serious health problems. That is no reason to close the whole of society down which, it is increasingly recognised, has fatal effects for many people too. But my main point is that this whole affair has been manipulated to advance an underlying programme of control. This is a battle in the ongoing spiritual war. 

Saturday 19 June 2021

White Males Are To Blame

So many of the ills of the present day are laid at the door of white males who are said to have usurped power and suppressed everybody else, women, non-white people, even nature itself. In fact, white males are accused of being responsible for most of the evil in the world.

I agree. The horrors of today were created by white males.

But perhaps we are talking about different things. What I blame white males for is not usurping power. Generally speaking, the power they have, they themselves created. No, my finger is pointing at them for a different reason.

It was white males who produced materialism and atheism which came to a head in communism. It was white males who exalted reason over everything else and in the process detached us from the fundamental truths of our humanity. It was white males who were the first to reject God and raise materialistic science to be a new god in place of the divine so cutting off all people from their spiritual roots. It was white males who promoted consumerism and pillaged the natural world for mercenary purposes.

But that is largely because no one else was good enough to do these things as is proved by the fact that practically everybody else has happily jumped on board. White males were the pioneers of a new way of being. The modern world is not a mistake as in the Traditionalist view so much as a necessary development in consciousness that has been hijacked and taken down the wrong path. Human beings were meant to grow into a new phase of being in which they became masters of themselves and of the world. This required the growth of science and of reason and greater emphasis on the individual self. Unfortunately, this growth became one-sided and failed to incorporate spiritual elements as it should have done.

If we go back to the 17th century which marks the ascendancy of white males over everyone else we find that most other parts of the world from India to China and elsewhere had settled into a kind of spiritual apathy and material decay if not decadence. The only fresh impetus to growth, exploration and development was in the West, whether that be Europe or North America. The white males created a new world which carried humanity forwards into the modern age. This was an intended part of the evolution of consciousness, bringing human beings greater self-determination, understanding and awareness of the world and of themselves. But it was a two-edged sword. This new awareness and agency could lead to great new heights or it could result in massive spiritual loss if it was directed towards its own self-fulfilment without acknowledging transcendent reality. It could lead to conscious union with God (eventually) or alienation and despair if pursued without intelligence. 

So please do blame white males but realise that somebody had to do this and they were the best available. Without them we would still be stuck in the past. Their sins are many but their virtues, whether of imagination, intellectual curiosity, pioneering spirit, inventiveness, energy, courage and, yes, even intelligence are also many. They have created unimagined (by others) new things and new understandings but they have also had the defects of their qualities and allowed themselves to be misled by their own  hubris and pride far too often.

And they continue to be at the forefront of so much that is wrong in the world. On the other hand, I don't see anyone else who is willing or capable of rectifying their errors other than white males themselves. As far as I can see, they represent the best and worst of humanity at the moment. If anyone is going to save the world from its disastrous decisions my money is principally on white males.

Thursday 17 June 2021

Are Spiritual Teachers Necessary?

This is a serious question. What are spiritual teachers and do we need them? In the West until recently there were no such things as spiritual teachers. There were priests, monks and theologians but these were not spiritual teachers as in the modern sense, borrowed from India, of supposedly enlightened people who could guide their followers to enlightenment. Spiritual teachers in the guru sense are only about 150 years old at the most in this hemisphere and, as far as I can see, they haven't done anyone any real good. Indeed, many of them have been harmful, more interested in personal power and prestige than true spirituality. It is a heady experience, being adored by the faithful who see you as some kind of superman or even divine being, and it can turn the head of even those who start out with good intentions, perhaps after a spiritual experience that makes them think they have broken through to a new and higher consciousness permanently. But time always shows that is not the case. They are just ordinary people, subject to the ordinary sins and temptations. And though they can be helpful at the beginning, they often end up being traps.

I wrote this paragraph about a month ago meaning to develop it later but forgot about it so it just sat in the drafts section of this blog. But I was reminded of it by an excellent post of Bruce Charlton's which he called Against Spiritual Methods. See here. The post concluded with these lines which make the general point that it is motivation that matters in the spiritual world not method.

We should pursue our spiritual aims, from our best motivations (of love); and we should never trust the methods by which these aims are pursued; but always retain discernment concerning the effects that 'what we are doing' is actually having upon us. 

We should never let the method itself dictate what counts as true, virtuous or beautiful - but need to retain a direct apprehension of these values. 

There is an almost inevitable transition between learning to trust the method; to unconsciously using the method to generate what we desire. And these unconscious desires are nearly always self-gratifying and hedonic - which is why manipulative power-games and exploitative sexuality are so often a feature of New Age groups and techniques. 

Method belongs to the world of science and technology. It is always an attempt to force your will onto something and subject it to your desire. In spiritual terms this is getting things back to front. You do not get the soul to do your bidding. You must submit yourself to the reality of the soul. This doesn't mean that there are not things you can and should do to attune yourself to the reality of God and the spiritual self. Prayer and meditation come to mind. But if the motivation is not right, if it is not what I call love of God as opposed to desire for heaven that drives you, then you are chasing shadows. And if you think that any method or practise will make you more 'spiritual', you don't understand what spiritual means. A method may have effects on everyday consciousness that we in our ignorance might call spiritual but then certain drugs can do that too. In the spiritual world it is the heart that is important and if we pursue the path for our own personal advantage or benefit we are effectively materialists.

As for teachers, I do not deny that they can be helpful. How could I, given the story I describe in my Meeting the Masters book? But the evidence from the 20th century shows the field is wide open to corruption and perhaps the lesson we can draw from that is that times have changed. We are now required to be self-motivated and self-taught. This obviously does not mean that we cannot learn from others and that there are not people to whom we can turn for guidance. But the elevated guru figure belongs to the past and we should probably retune our thoughts to the traditional Western idea of a spiritual guide, a fellow-traveller who points us to God rather than himself and does this in practice not just theory.

In saying this I do not mean to disparage real gurus but I suspect their time is past and that is why we have had so many duds of late. Human consciousness evolves, much as some people don't like the idea of that, and as it does our engagement with the religious life does too.

Sunday 13 June 2021

Thomas and Henry

 I went to the Thomas Becket exhibition (as they call him now, I always thought he was Thomas a Becket) at the British Museum last week. Whilst giving a good account of its subject the exhibition wasn't quite as interesting as I'd hoped simply because there isn't that much that survives. There were some beautiful reliquary boxes and illuminated manuscripts, some stained glass and seals, and they did the best they could with what there is but it isn't a great deal. 

I'm sure everyone knows the story. On 29th December 1170 Thomas, who was the Archbishop of Canterbury at the time, was murdered in his cathedral by four knights acting, as they thought, at the behest of the king, Henry II. Thomas and Henry had been friends in earlier times but had fallen out over, as I understand it, disputes to do with secular and ecclesiastical power, for instance whether the clergy could be tried in secular courts. It was basically the typical Medieval tussle between church and state. The whole of Europe was horrified by the assassination and a mere three years later Thomas was canonised by the pope. Henry was forced to do penance, even though he hadn't directly ordered the killing, and walked barefoot into Canterbury Cathedral wearing sackcloth and ashes where he allowed himself to be flogged by monks. Canterbury thereafter became a famous place of pilgrimage as depicted in Chaucer's Canterbury Tales in which a group of pilgrims entertain each other on the way to the shrine of Saint Thomas Becket.

The story had a curious echo about 350 years later when another Henry and another Thomas clashed. This was Henry VIII and his Lord Chancellor, Thomas More. The situations were surprisingly similar. A proud and arrogant monarch and a man he thought his friend and "good servant" who fell out over religious matters. In Thomas More's case it was his refusal to accept the annulment of Henry's marriage to Catherine of Aragon. Like his predecessor he put loyalty to God above loyalty to King even if he was never disloyal to the King other than in matters of conscience. This dispute also ended in death although this time it was a legal execution after Thomas had been convicted of treason. Curiously, this Thomas wore a hair shirt under his outer garments just as the earlier one is said to have done.

Both these men stood up to the worldly powers when they saw these powers as exceeding their authority and stepping into spiritual territory. They paid for their principled stands with their lives. Without wishing to appear melodramatic, (for instance, I don't envisage executions) I wonder if we might not take some heart from their examples. It seems very possible that the world will demand more and more from us, going from gestures of allegiance to its cause to intellectual and maybe even physical signs of submission. This has actually started to happen over the last year and may well increase. It is important to avoid the "martyr complex" in which you self-importantly see yourself as a valiant soldier for truth but are really just giving in to egotistical inflation. The humility of both Thomases, especially, I think, the second one, is critical. But the signs are there. The churches appear to have put the state before God recently and one must assume that anyone who takes the opposite stance will be condemned, probably as a mad person and hater of humanity. But those of us who believe in God have to put that belief first. If God is real everything must be seen in a spiritual light. The spiritual cannot be secondary. It must always be the reason for everything else which makes sense only as an expression of the spiritual. This hierarchy is now being reversed. That is something the two Thomases understood, resisted and died to prevent.

Thursday 10 June 2021

The Four Ashramas of Life

In the Vedic culture of ancient India life was divided into four stages known as ashramas. These stages were Brahmacharya, Grihastha, Vanaprastha and Sannyasa and they corresponded to the student, the married man with family, retirement and gradual withdrawal from worldly affairs, and then complete detachment from material life and dedication to the spiritual path. In terms of age, the first stage was roughly until 25, the second until about 50, the third to about 70 and the fourth thereafter though potentially anyone could enter the fourth stage after being a student, life being perceived as fundamentally spiritual in purpose. That having been said, it was seen as important that a person should develop all aspects of his nature and to jump prematurely from one stage to another without having learnt the lessons of the intermediary stages was not always deemed advisable.

The idea of these stages was that a human being should follow a trajectory that brought him ultimately to liberation which was the spiritual goal. We may not think in quite those terms in the Christian West but I consider the basic idea and pattern to be an excellent one. We could certainly do with seeing life in those terms nowadays. 

We first must establish ourselves in the world. We learn about the world, we marry and raise a family and then we turn to God and seek to make ourselves fully aware of the reality of spiritual life in preparation for death. This doesn't mean we ignore God until the latter stages. The whole system presumes the reality of God so he is there the whole time and all the stages must be regarded in the light of his over-arching existence and the fact that we should at all times be moving towards him, becoming more like him. But our priorities differ at different stages of life. One of the many tragedies of the modern world is that old people refuse to adapt themselves to the reality of their situation and cling on to earlier phases of life. Even those in the familial phase often seek to evade their responsibilities and are reluctant to give up the student mentality. We are seeing this more and more as people either decline to have children or else, when they do, still behave self-indulgently in one way or another, divorce and separation not the least.

Traditionally, the Brahmacharya or student phase was rather different to our modern idea of the student. For a start, it required celibacy. Then the student was supposed to learn scripture and proper religious practice in addition to general education in the arts and sciences of the time. Control over himself was regarded as vital as was truth-telling for if you don't honour truth in yourself how can you ever know God who is truth? In this sense, all education was spiritual preparation, a far cry from our current idea of student life.

The Grihastha was the householder stage. From the point of view of society and its smooth running, this was the most important stage. Everything needful for creating wealth and stability, raising children and making sure the next generation was properly prepared so that society could maintain itself harmoniously was done by those in the Grihastha stage. This was a worldly stage and properly so but the worldly aspects were carried out in an overall religious context, in the context of dharma which means righteousness, order, virtue and truth, somewhat similar to the idea of Maat in ancient Egypt. Cosmic harmony and the order of the gods, you might say.

The next stage was retirement when a person, having raised a family, stepped back from his worldly duties and began to take a more active interest in the spiritual life. In a way, the Vanaprastha stage represented a bridge between worldly interest and responsibilities, with a focus on wealth, achievement and pleasure (once again, always within the greater context of religious piety), and turning inwards to seek God. Fulfilling the role of grandparent would be an excellent step towards taking on the more contemplative attitude expected. Literally the word Vanaprastha means forest dweller which gives the idea of someone who moves away from a busy urban environment to a more peaceful and natural one in which he (or she, this applied to both sexes) could live an uncluttered life without worldly distractions.

The final phase is that of Sannyasa in which all worldly attachments are cast off. The word itself implies renunciation and purification and refers to the stripping off of material desires and concerns in preparation for complete spiritual focus. Theoretically, this stage could be entered by anyone after Brahmacharya but it was the intended path for everyone though I presume this only applied to those known in Hinduism as twice born which comprises the three upper castes, namely Brahmins (priests and teachers), Kshatriyas (warriors) and Vaisyas (merchants).  The caste system is much decried nowadays but a less prejudiced mindset should be able to see that human beings are indeed different and if you conceive of a person as made up of physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual elements, these will be differently proportioned among individuals. Assuming a genetic element to the human being, a caste system makes sense even if it can be abused.

On a personal note, my life has followed this pattern to an extent. As those who have read my book may know, I did go from the Brahmacharya to the Sannyasa stage but then at the age of 45 went back to the Grihastha one. I feel I am nearing the end of that now and ready to move on to the next phase and will possibly embrace Sannyasa again at the end of my life. It seems a comfortable and natural progression  even though I have taken a slightly unorthodox route. As I mentioned earlier, this ancient Indian mode of being cannot be applied to the Christian West in literal terms but it does work in that context with a few tweaks and is certainly a far better template for life than what we have now.

Sunday 6 June 2021

Against Love

Yes, you read that correctly. This is an article by someone who believes in God and Jesus Christ and wishes to follow them that is going to argue against love. Of course, there is a catch. It is not real love I am arguing against but the fake variety that would actually establish the kingdom of Satan in this world.

Love is a spiritual thing. It must be because it is based on the reality of the individual and in strict materialism there is no room for a true individual. What might seem to be an individual is just the product of many mechanical forces. There is no intrinsic centre, nothing which cannot be reduced to mindless matter. Therefore, love should be directed towards the spiritual fulfillment of the human being; that is to say, his or her spiritual good and development. (If you love someone, you wish them well. Parents who love their children want to help them grow not self-indulgently keep them as infants.) This does not preclude other sorts of good but the spiritual always has prior claim and is the directed end. Anything that works against the spiritual must be specifically rejected. However, love in the modern world has been weaponised to turn against itself. This has been done by making it relate to the earthly man and his fulfillment and protection. Love is now concerned with material well-being and avoidance of material suffering to the detriment of spiritual good. To give an extreme analogy, this is like loving a cancer as it eats into a person's body. I am not comparing the earthly man and his physical self to a cancer but if you give love to and support the lesser at the expense of the greater, body as opposed to soul, you are effectively attacking the greater. Those useless clergymen who put social justice at the front of their agenda and parrot worldly concerns about equality and saving lives above all else clearly have no idea of true spiritual values because if they did they could not possibly aid and support a worldly agenda as they do. For them the earthly man has become the soul and religion just means making this man better, more 'loving' on a horizontal this worldly level. Their concerns are indistinguishable from those of a secular person. They have reduced spirituality to social matters and politics just as Judas did. True spirituality, as anyone should know, is about being born again into an entirely new being. Not just believing a different thing but being a different thing. The old self is not destroyed but it is transformed not simply changed.

Ultimately, all love must be love of God. If you love your neighbour it is precisely because you see God in him, and if you really do see God in him and your love is not just words then you wish to do whatever is necessary to bring God out into greater expression in his life. Supporting him as a worldly being will not do that which is why both John the Baptist and Jesus called on people to repent. If you don't repent of your worldly ways and attachments you are rejecting God, and if you are supported in that lack of repentance then the one doing the supporting is also rejecting God.

It's very simple. Either you believe the spiritual is just an extension of the material as most contemporary Christians and their leaders seem to do, something that has been brought out and made clear by their response to the coronavirus panic, or you realise that the spiritual is a higher and totally different reality. One that is only known by seeing yourself as a new being with new priorities. This means that love directed towards things in the unredeemed, material world in their unredeemed and material state is actually directed against love in the spiritual world. The first commandment is to love God. If you don't first of all love God and what he stands for, what he is, then loving your neighbour is actually anti-spiritual for you are directing love to the world using that word to mean fallen man and his concerns. Christians who are confused about this, as many of them seem to be because of, let's face it, spiritual ignorance are supporting evil, much as that might shock them.

I attack misdirected love which is love used as a weapon against the spiritual and a means of separating men and women from their true life in God. Needless to say, real love which is love grounded in God cannot be used like this but the idea of love can be and it has been corrupted. Reject this false earthly love and know that the only true love comes from above. Perhaps the rhyme isn't just coincidence.

Thursday 3 June 2021

The One and the Many

Opposites reflect each other. Two apparently very different creeds are materialism which says that everything derives from matter and spiritual monism which maintains that everything, the world included, is spirit. Although not exclusively confined to these times and places, the first is a modern Western belief and the second an ancient Eastern one. Whilst opposites on the face of it, they actually have quite a lot in common in that both are reductive, boiling everything down to just one thing. At the end of the day neither leave room for the individual, for free will or for love, all of which being intimately connected. And that is why both must be rejected as adequate descriptions of life, what it is and why it is expressed in the way it is through variety, difference, intelligence and selfhood.

A wiser philosophy accepts the reality of both matter or the created world as one might think of it, and spirit. It sees the interaction between the two as bringing to birth something new which is the individual. Individuality and its expression is the reason for creation and the manifested universe. So, to deny or suppress or reject the individual is an anti-spiritual policy, a statement that might shock some of the mystically inclined who see the loss of the sense of a self as a consummation devoutly to be wished. However, the fact is that individuality is good but it can be corrupted and turn in on itself. It is this that is wrong and which defiles creation not the thing itself. Certainly, the individual must learn to go beyond itself and seek a union with God, the Supreme Self, but this is so that its individuality may be fulfilled not negated.

Evolution means increased differentiation. Everything material starts off from being just one thing, pure quantity, but then the evolutionary process starts as spirit is introduced into matter and through the combination of the two quality comes into play. Quality means inequality. That's what it is. The current obsession with equality, though often confused as deriving from a spiritual impulse, actually marks a desire to return to the undifferentiated ground and is, therefore, an involutionary thing, characteristic of a return to the infantile state of oneness with the Mother. We are called to go on to the Father which means becoming more individual not less so but we do this in the context of the reality of God or, as one might just as well say, in the context of reality. For God is reality and reality is God.

Any philosophy that says we are all one and leaves it at that is wrong. Any philosophy that says we are all separate and leaves it at that is also wrong. The truth is we are both. We are full individuals, unique, whole and free, but we are also one in God, and knowing this we become gods ourselves which means creative beings. Materialism would deny us real individuality and spiritual monism also denies us a unique self. Reject both of these philosophies as concoctions of the mind and see the truth as a far subtler thing which embraces everything and bestows on us both freedom and love.